Niun Niggung

Our rating:

When indie wants to reclaim high IQ it ends up lo-fi, but when electronica strives for cerebral flash, it arrives here, on [B](MO) Mars[/B] with its samplers in a twist...

When indie wants to reclaim high IQ it ends up lo-fi, but when electronica strives for cerebral flash, it arrives here, on (MO) Mars with its samplers in a twist.

Four albums of low-frequency, high-IQ nu-jazz micro-ticking has established the Cologne and D|sseldorf duo of Andi Toma and Jan St Werner as Kraft’n’Kraut-spawned twiddlers on the edge of genius and, as the japingly deconstructed song titles (or, song litt.es, perhaps) indicate, their latest work is more dismemberingly perverse than ever. A bluebottle buzzes. A brass section parades ironically. Regression tech textures scamper round the perimeters of funk and orchestras of plankton tune up.

For all its sly disco, hip-hop and acid allusions however, ‘Niun Niggung’ is rarely ‘danceable’. Much of it is in thrall to a type of Japanese airport terminal futurism that’s almost nostalgic. From ‘Pinwheel Herman’ which evokes Herbie Hancock having a migraine to ‘Circloid Bricklett Spr|ngli’ which suggests a Spike Milligan sketch about Herbie Hancock having a migraine in China, a zillion marvels of slithery-disked technique flicker past, but little aside from the stormin’ avant-Norman Cook piece ‘Distroia’ engages. All that IQ without E(motional) Q makes for a strangely dry record.